4.2.3 Restating the problem

If your analysis of the problem and its possible causes is thorough, it should enable you to rewrite the problem statement to include the causes. If you can clarify your objective by defining a desired end-state, you are more likely to produce a good solution.


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7.6 Who should estimate?

The person managing the project is not necessarily the best one to prepare the estimates, although they should be closely involved, both as a source of information and because they need a clear understanding of what the estimates mean and what the estimators assume about outputs, inputs and the transformation process. If there are others who have more experience or more knowledge about some of the areas of work, these people may be the best ones to make estimates for the project or parts of i
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2.1 Introduction

The planning process aims to demonstrate how the project outcomes will be achieved successfully within both the required timescale, the agreed budget and the required quality. As each project is different, there are a number of ways of taking an overview of a project. Two of these are:

  • the project life-cycle, which is a useful way of understanding the different phases of a project as it progresses, and

  • the classic six-stage project ma
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5.3 Desktop search tools

Finding your paperwork or electronic files can be a problem. You may find that even if you do have some sort of filing system, your structure soon gets quite large with files in multiple locations, which can be hard to navigate. You may find yourself making arbitrary decisions about which folder to place a document in. It may make sense now but in the future, when you look where you think it should be, it’s not there.

At times like this you may resort to the search command from the Wi
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4.8 Summary

In this section we have introduced you to the PROMPT checklist as a useful tool for assessing the quality of any piece of information. If you use it regularly you will find that you develop the ability to scan information quickly and identify strengths and weaknesses.


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4.2 P is for Presentation

By presentation, we mean, the way in which the information is communicated. You might want to ask yourself:

  • Is the language clear and easy to understand?

  • Is the information clearly laid out so that it is easy to read?

  • Are the fonts large enough and clear?

  • Are the colours effective? (e.g. white or yellow on black can be difficult to read)

  • If there are graphics or photos, do they help
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3.6 Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias can be useful reference texts to use to start your research. There are some available online, such as:

Wikipedia A freely available collaborative encyclopedia.

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7 Designing evaluation

So far in this unit we have considered information used in making a selection. What about information about consultants thereafter? Evaluating consultants’ work was highlighted as one of the difficulties in this area, yet such information is important. You may need to evaluate a small initiative (perhaps a limited diagnosis, feedback and initial planning contract) with a view to deciding whether to work more extensively with the consultant. You may need performance measures to contribute to
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2.2 Different approaches to decision making

Activity 2

Think of a major decision you have recently been involved in making at work. For each of the following statements about your decision-making process make a note of the number which shows your level of agreement with the stat
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Planning an evaluation

The evaluation should have clear aims and objectives. It is also helpful to decide where its boundaries should lie – how much or how little is to be evaluated?

Activity 4

0 hours 20 minutes
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2.1 Introduction

As handovers can take place at many stages – not just the concluding stage – of a project, handover is not, in itself, completion of the project. If the project's objectives were clearly set out, the completion or acceptance criteria should flow logically from them. Such criteria might include the following:

  • the key stages and milestones are all completed;

  • the outputs or outcomes meet the quality specifications;

  • t
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7.2.4 Using questions

Questions can be used as a means both of persuasion and of control. Repeatedly telling an individual something that they are unwilling to accept is unlikely to get them to change their mind. It is better instead to ask carefully constructed questions that will lead him or her to realise the strength of your case and the weakness of their own. Asking questions gives the questioner more control over the conversation, forcing the other side to respond. Writing down a list of appropriate question
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1.3 Examples of projects

  • A project might involve establishing a new product or service, developing an existing product or service or discontinuing a product or closing a service that is no longer required.

  • A project might arise from recognition of new needs of customers or service users or from an opportunity that is expected to deliver benefits to the organisation.

  • Projects might also arise from a new organisational requirement, for example, as a
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1.2 What is expected from projects?

  • The project may be expected to deliver financial benefits to the organisation.

  • In the public sector projects are usually expected to lead to social, economic and political outcomes.

All projects are different. The level of complexity differs and the context in which a project exists will affect it. There is no single right way to manage a project. All projects have customers.

There are three key dimensions to a projec
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Learning outcomes

At the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • identify the main features of a project;

  • explain the importance of the key dimensions of budget, time and quality;

  • identify the links between a project's scope and definition and a sponsor's strategic and operational objectives;

  • agree the objectives of the project in sufficient detail to enable it to be planned effectively;

  • assess the feasibility of a project and to negotia
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2 What's so great about innovation?

So far we have suggested that innovation is a positive concept and, it appears, the rate of innovation continues to accelerate, led mostly by technology. The process is an example of positive feedback, in which the change is self-reinforcing: the development of technology itself increases the capacity for technological innovation, and raises the expectation of consumers for further innovation. While there seems little reason why this process of accelerating technological change should
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2.1 Introduction

'All experiences count and are valuable and no one should push those aside. It really doesn't matter where that experience was gained. It's about what you learnt from it… don't devalue yourself. Recognise the importance of what you've done.'

Ruth Stokes, KPMG on the vol
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1.5.1 The co-production of meaning

The third sense in which discourse is a social action refers to the origins of meanings. Meaning emerges from complex social and historical processes. It is conventional and normative. We have some idea what it signifies to say Prince Charles is a proud man because we are members of a speaking community and culture which has agreed associations for ‘proud man’. We draw on those to make sense. Meaning is also relational. Proud signifies as it does because of the existence of other t
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Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • identify some key themes in discourse analysis;

  • appreciate the consequences of discourse research for some key topics in social science, such as indentity, interaction and subjectivity;

  • be familiar with some discourse analytical techniques and their consequences for analysing social interactions.


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